What Do Your Collections Say About You?

While I’m not actively collecting anything these days, I still have a few small collections. But I started wondering if there was any rhyme or reason as to what I had collected. Why these things? And then it hit me!

But, let me back up and first tell you about some of my collections

For a long time I bought old sterling silver smallsbaby cups, bowls, trophies, cigarette cases, etc. I envisioned book shelves full of this type of old family silver. That was my intent. To have trophies that celebrated past glories, the cigarette case used by Great Aunt Edith in the 1920s, the fanciful vesta cases when matches were valuable.

From Pinterest.

Here are a few of my favorite silver pieces. A little round sterling silver box initialed and dated Nov. 16, ’93 for 1893.

I use this one to house a number of my charm bracelets.

And this small lidded English trophy from the Imperial Tobacco Co. was won in 1929 by D. Scloss “Ogden.”

And antique Scottish horn cups were part of the collecting mix. They were earthy and beautiful and I imagined them being used out on the moors during a hike or hunt and later they’d be glowing on the mantel in the flames from the fireplace. (I bought them from a seller who sourced them on her Scotland buying trips!)

This was my collection at its zenith. I have since downsized to three or four cups.

And woven wool paisley throws were kryptonite to me. Beautiful and warm. Perfect for throwing over the shoulders.

And I began to feel that no home was complete with artwork. Lots of artwork! Hung or propped. So paintings and lithographs have been on my radar for some time. I need to work on a better rearrangement for the pieces below but artists represented include: Irving Amen, Kevin Courter, Dorr Bothwell and Margaret Layton.

So what did these diverse collections have in common? Why was/am I drawn to these types of things?

Here’s my lightbulb moment…
I think, subconsciously, I was collecting things that would recreate the ambiance of an old English manor house. A house layered with family heirlooms that spoke of an interesting (and somewhat cultured) past!

My own childhood homes were small and humble. Our furniture serviceable. Things were new (bought at Sears Roebuck on “Monkey” Wards) or slightly worn hand-me-downs from my grandparents. But what my soul craved (starting in my teen years) were things with more age and history and a house brimming with them. So much later when I got to a place and time in life when I had a little disposable money, I began buying those things.

Here’s the look that likely inspired my collecting…

Designer Ralph Lauren’s manor house is a bit crowded for me but overall I love its intriguing textiles, artwork and bits. I would be happy curling up in this room and I’ll bet somewhere there’s a silver trophy or two!

Courtesy of Architectural Digest.

And I like the casual jumble of books, artifacts and paintings in this room below. And of course having a beautiful rug is essential.

From Pinterest.

Truth be told my own home has never looked anything like an English manor house but I have enjoyed having wonderful older things around that pique my interest and touch my soul.

So what do your collections say about you? Are you trying to recapture your childhood? Recreate a happier time? Reinvent yourself? Or??? Would love to know!

The English Manor House Collection

Here are a few things from my Etsy store that would be fabulous for creating a manor house look. Click on the photo or caption to get more information.

Antique Barley Twist Candlesticks

Early 20th Century Harry Hambro Howe Ship Painting

Vintage Paisley Wool Shawl/Throw

Priced at $80.

Antique English Sterling Silver Cigarette Case

Priced at $150.

Happy hunting and collecting,



  1. We had a pretty sparse house growing up. I was a collector of things…natural things, like feathers, bits of bark, stones, etc. After all, they were free! Now, I am not in the process of collecting anything in particular. We don’t NEED anything, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your revelation here! You may not have an English manor house, but you have so many clean-lined, MCM touches in the pictures you share for us. It would be hard to balance those two aesthetics! It’s great that you get to adopt the manor house furnishings (those candlesticks!!) for a while. Maybe that’s the best of both worlds.

    My own collections are inspired by a bone-deep love for the shapes of animals – colorful Oaxacan carvings and a small collection of Howard Pierce pieces. Most of the art in the house also has either animals or trees (or both).

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s